ABU DHABI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has been named Cultural Personality of the Year by trustees of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
The award honours contributions to the advancement of Arab culture and encourages work towards tolerance and the promotion of peace. The trustees said the award highlighted Sheikh Mohammed’s achievements in cultural development.
The President, Sheikh Khalifa, congratulated Sheikh Mohammed on the award.
“The naming of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid as a cultural personality by this huge, symbolic award that bears the name of late father, Sheikh Zayed, is a deserved honour,” Sheikh Khalifa said, according to the state news agency Wam.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, also congratulated the Vice President.
“It is a tribute to the leader of a unique calibre who exerted his efforts to complete the process of development, and continues to build the state,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “He achieved the development, built the bridges of communication and optimism in line with the course set by President Sheikh Khalifa.”
Dr Ali bin Tamim, the awards secretary general, said the Vice President’s role in the community brought great hope to creative people.
He said Sheikh Mohammed’s “initiatives create a link with our heritage and the openness of the modern services that has been characterised by the overall initiatives in the spirit of innovation and continuous regeneration, making it a source of leverage.”
He was also chosen for his many achievements in sustainable development and social welfare, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, which funds research projects, activities and initiatives.
He also established the International Humanitarian City, which acts as a centre for the country’s overseas aid projects.
“We cannot forget his keenness of safeguarding the rights of children and the establishment of Gender Balance Committee. The award shines by this great and inspiring Emirati personality,” Dr bin Tamim said.
Sheikh Mohammed was also awarded for his measures to strengthen the national identity and encourage youth to learn about their past history and culture, and sponsoring projects that promote the country’s language, literature and culture.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, added her congratulations, saying he had helped the UAE to become a cultural destination for those seeking knowledge and the arts.
“Sheikh Mohammed is keen on continuing the UAE’s journey in the path of development, modernity and high cultural values,” Sheikha Lubna said.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was launched in 2007 in memory of the founding President and is intended to promote scholarship and creativity in the Arab world.
Its categories include children’s literature, translation, young author and Arab culture in other languages.
Judges in each category review the nominated work and submit the selections to the scientific committee that in turn reviews and approves the anonymous suggestions.
The winners will be announced next month, ahead of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.